MALAYSIAN MOTORISTS URGED TO BE RESPONSIBLE VEHICLE OWNERS

Kuala Lumpur, 2 October 2018 – Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) are encouraging vehicle owners to ensure their vehicles are in good running condition to reduce accident and fatality rates. Although common causes of accidents include speeding, using of mobile phones while driving, beating the red light, changing lanes without signaling, poor road conditions, drunk driving and bad weather; the drivers’ attitude in maintaining their vehicles will go a long way in making our roads safer.

“Malaysia has been recording one of the highest road fatality rates in Asia. In 2015, the number of road accident fatalities stood at 6,706; in 2016 it increased to 7,152; and in 2017 it was 6,740. The fatality index in 2017 currently stands at 2.34 compared to 2.59 in 2016. Even though the index is reducing, our view is that one death is one too many and we have to constantly work towards reducing the fatality rate and support the Ministry of Transport’s initiative to reduce road deaths. We are committed to support the Government’s initiative to make Malaysian roads safer.” said En Muhammad Fikri, Chairman of Malaysian Takaful Association.

PIAM and MTA are calling on Malaysians to be responsible vehicle owners. Vehicles should be in good running condition by having regular scheduled maintenance to minimize the possibility of accidents and breakdowns. Besides timely maintenance, owners should also watch out for other factors, such as:

a) Cracked windscreens

A cracked windscreen might not seem like a big problem but it can block a driver’s vision. In an emergency, the driver typically has less than a second to react and the smallest of an obstruction can make a difference in the driver’s response time.

b) Failing lights

Lights play a major role when it comes to safe driving. If you as a driver can’t see the road ahead or be seen, your chances of being involved in an accident increases. Signs you need new lights include a rapid blinking signal, burnt out bulbs and dimming headlight beams.

c) Faulty Wipers

Wipers play a critical role in ensuring that drivers have a clean and clear vision in rainy or foggy conditions. If wipers are noisy or streaking, it’s time for a replacement.

d) Faulty Brakes and Worn Out Brake Pads

It is possible for brakes to suddenly fail, though they generally do so because a driver does not have the brakes serviced or brake pads changed regularly. Signs of possible brake malfunction include a pulsating brake pedal, frequent addition of brake fluid to the major cylinder or the car pulls to one side during braking.

e) Bald Tires

Drivers tend to ignore checking their tires for cracks and poor threads. However, poor maintenance and high driving speeds may cause these threads to explode or come off the tire, resulting in accidents and serious injury or deaths. The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, UTM Skudai, Johor 2015 had reported that 28.6% of common critical causes of accidents was caused by defective tires in commercial buses alone.

“The current trend of accidents and fatalities caused by heavy and commercial vehicles is worrying. Although consumer education is important, enforcement by relevant authorities is equally crucial. The insurance industry supports the Kejara System as any information on errant and high-risk drivers will be useful. We look forward to working closely with all relevant Government agencies to help reduce the number of road accidents. Motor insurers currently pay out RM14.7 million per day in claims for property damage, bodily injury and vehicle theft. This is a staggering amount and cannot be sustained going forward. PIAM and MTA are intensifying our collaboration with all major stakeholders to reduce road accidents nationwide and has set a stretched target of reducing national road accidents by 50% from 2021 onwards.” said Mr Antony Lee, Chairman of PIAM.

PIAM and MTA’s “Play Your Role” National Consumer Education Campaign focuses on educating the public by creating awareness on the benefits of the Motor Tariff Liberalisation. Its objective is to empower consumers to make the right choice for their insurance cover. One of the key tenets of the campaign is encouraging responsible vehicle ownership so that a motorist is at a lower risk of getting involved in accidents and making insurance/takaful claims.

The “Play Your Role” campaign was officially launched on 11 June 2018 with Ms. Adibah Noor as the Ambassador. The renowned actress, comedian and singer is a national personality and relatable to Malaysians of all age, gender, race and social status. “Many motorists take driving their vehicles for granted. They just pump fuel and carry on driving; they ignore the vehicle’s maintenance schedule. This leads to vehicle owners having unnecessary risks simply due to their own complacency,” said Ms Adibah Noor.

To further assist motorists in times of an accident, breakdown or an empty fuel tank, PIAM and MTA have set up the Accident Assist Call Centre (AACC) Toll-free Helpline 15-500 that operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. The objective of AACC is to enhance the overall services of Insurers and Takaful Operators – especially when drivers are on the road – by reducing their downtime in an event of a breakdown or accident. AACC will also respond to basic or common enquiries on insurance/takaful claim coverage and procedures or motor policy details.

PIAM and MTA are fully committed to ensuring that Malaysian roads will once again be one of the safest in Asia.

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